News coming out Japan right now is that Sony Corp's very own Ken Kutaragi, the man most commonly associated with the creation of the PlayStation, has been replaced. Kaz Hirai, who currently heads the US game division, will replace him as President of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Additionally, SCEI noted that Kutaragi will not be removed from the company altogether, but rather he will now act as a chairman (more specifics on that below).

Sony CEO Howard Stringer says that the company is relying on the PS3 to revive the company's dimishing market value over the past six-years. “Given that PlayStation 3's main market may be overseas, turning to people who know that business is understandable,'' said Naoki Fujiwara, who manages $720 million at Shinkin Asset Management Co. in Tokyo.

The shuffle is as follows: Jack Tretton will now become President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America (SCEA). Kaz Hirai has been promoted to President and Group Chief Operating Officer of SCEA parent company SCE Inc. Tretton was previously SCEA executive vice president and co-chief operating officer, so in case you're not familiar with the name, rest-assured he is a veteran with the company, overseeing operations since the inception of the original PlayStation.

"I am determined to build upon the momentum that Kaz and the entire SCEA staff has developed for the entire PlayStation family of products here in the US over the years," said Tretton. "Moving forward, we will remain focused on the continued market leadership of the PlayStation brand, driving consumer demand for the new PS3, and existing platforms such as PSP and PS2, which continue to excel in the marketplace."

As for Ken Kutaragi, he will be appointed as a chairman and group CEO for SCEI, thus also assuming less of a role in the everyday operations of the PlayStation brand. All changes and shuffles are effective December 1, 2006.